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'nation's social development' - GRE Issue Task-- characteristics of a society


calvin1993 1 / -  
Jun 15, 2012   #1
Hi everyone. It's my first day studying for GRE and I just wrote a response for the issue task. I'm kind of struggling with using advanced vocabulary. I understand some of them but find it hard to come up with them during the writing. Any advice for my problem & comments for this writing are welcome ! Thanks a lot.

To understand the most important characteristics of a society, one must study its major cities.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

A nation's most important social characteristics, which include political system, economic structure, and culture features, can be best comprehended by studying the most representative cities. The statement tries to link the success in understanding social characteristics with the necessity of studying its major cities. In making its claim, however, it falsely assumes that major cities are the same as the most representative cities. While studying major cities can definitely provide a good amount of information about a nation, it is not a must to analyze them in order to understand the whole society. The most crucial features of a society, indeed, are possessed by many non-major cities and should be understood by studying the country as a whole.

A country's social characteristics have been developing since the establishment of some of its historical cities-or so called major cities at the time of its foundation. As time passed by, these historical cities can cease to be major cities anymore due to either economic recession or a transfer of central government. However, as these cities witnessed the social transformation and political revolution of the society, they should still be the objects to study for the social characteristics despite of being non-major. For example, Xi'an and Xianyan, which have a history of more than 1000 years, are two historical cities in China. They represent the quiescence of Chinese culture and are recording every detail of social development of this country. They have been the first choice to study for the culture characteristics all the time. However, in Chinese people's eyes, they are not considered major cities due to a low population density and a less rapid economic growth. Furthermore, cities like Changsha and Nanchang, which now are unpopular with Chinese due to their high crime rate and small territory area, were the first two places where the Chinese government system transformed from Capitalism to Communism. Therefore, they provide abundant information about the formation of the government and thus epitomize the political structure in China. It would surely be a mistake to deny the necessity of choosing these two cities for political characteristic study only due to their not being major cities. Therefore, it is not a must to study major cities for learning the whole nation's social feature; it is a must, however, to study those cities where the civilization originated and the political transformation took place, regardless of whether they are major cities or not.

On the other hand, studying major cities can even have negative effect on understanding the political characteristics of the nation. Based on this fact the initial statement can be disputed. The reason for this is that some major cities' social development focuses mostly on economic with less consideration of neither culture nor politics. Studying these cities can severely hinder one's understanding of the latter two characteristics. The southern major city, Dongguan, for example, prides itself more on economics rather than on culture and politics. Its political structure is more like that in western countries-in other words-more closed to capitalism than communism. Its government has less power in controlling the market than some northern cities like Beijing. As a result, the political characteristic of this city is believed to be incongruous with the mainstream political structure in China. One studying Dongguan for understanding Chinese would clearly be misled.

In my opinion, it is also a mistake to see it as a must to study major cities for understanding the culture characteristic. The major city one chooses can be very questionable; for example, what if it is a newly founded city? What if it is a city of tourism and is largely affected by foreign cultures? In this case, one would fail to accurately understand the society's true culture characteristics. The southern major city San Ya, for example, is among the most popular coastal cities in Hainan Island. The problem present in San Yan was that it was founded only 20 years ago. Before its foundation the traditional Chinese culture did not prevail in that area; as a result, it does not possess some important traditional Chinese culture elements, such as some folk festivals and traditional religious belief; instead, its culture is affected by immigrants or merchants from Russia and Vietnam. Therefore, this city would leave one a false impression of the true Chinese cultural characteristic.

The best city for studying important social characteristics does not depend on whether it is a major city or not. It is however its history that determines the necessity for choosing it. Every country in the world prides itself on its most historical cities, because they witnessed the nation's social development from ancient time to modern time, represent the true social characteristics, and symbolize the nation's spirit. These cities are epitome of the whole society and should be considered studying in order to understand the crucial social characteristics.
dumi 1 / 6,925 1592  
Jun 15, 2012   #2
culture features

------------ cultural features

by studying the most representative cities.

-------------- by studying the cities that represent these characteristics.

In making its claim, however, it falsely assumes that major cities are the same as the most representative cities.

-----------Interesting argument :)

While studying major cities can definitely provide a good amount of information about a nation, it ismay not a must to analyze themalways reveal the true picture of the actualin order to understand the whole society.

The most crucial features of a society, indeed, are possessed by many non-major cities and should be understood by studying the country as a whole.

--------split this sentence into two to improve its clarity;
The most crucial features of a society, indeed, arecan be possessed by many non-major cities too . Therefore it is important to study the country as a whole in order to understand its society.

Interesting Introduction. Well presented :)
ah_zafari [Contributor] 40 / 672 148  
Jun 15, 2012   #3
Hi,
To tell the truth, I just read the introduction because the essay was long :). Please accept my apologies.

Here are my suggestions about the first paragraph:

political system, economic structure, and cultural features ("political and economic" are adj., So, u should also use the word "culture" in the adjective form.) ,

The statement tries

Which statement?? You should not make a reader to turn back and read the topic. U must put all necessary information in the essay. For example u could write:" It is believed that for better understanding of a society's characteristics, sociologists and authorities should concentrate their investigations on major cities of that society"

In the introduction u should apparently mention your idea (agree or disagree). You should also state the reasons of your opinion to show the following paragraph include which issues.

The most crucial features of a society, indeed, are possessed by many non-major cities and should be understood by studying the country as a whole.

Which crucial features??? Are they the things that you want to talk about them in the body? If the answer is yes, you should briefly (in several words) mention them.

The words that u used in the essay were really good. I think creating interesting sentences with strong structures is more important than vocabulary.

Regards
Ahmad


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